Chronological Index for July 1997

1990: Sep
1994: Jul Sep
1996: Jun Jul Sep Oct Nov Dec
1997: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1998: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov
1999: Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2000: Jan Feb Mar Apr

July 1997

The Harmful Effects of Noise Pollution on Marine Animals. According to an article in Utne Reader by Rebecca Scheib, an underwater sonar defense system being developed by the U.S. Navy could harm the hearing of whales and other marine mammals. The Navy's Surveillance Towed Array Sonar System, Low Frequency Active (LFA), is designed to detect certain submarines with a intense, low-frequency tone. This tone, however, can reach 235 decibels, high enough to damage a whale's hearing.

July 1, 1997

California Appeals Court Upholds Vote on Commercial Airport at El Toro Air Base. The Los Angeles Times reports that a district appeals court in San Diego, California rejected an attempt by opponents of the proposed El Toro Airport to invalidate a 1994 referendum that supported the airport. Other lawsuits from airport opponents are still to be decided.

Florida City May Back Out of Settlement Deal with Airport Over Runway Expansion. The Sun-Sentinel reports that Dania (Florida) City Commissioners might back out of a settlement signed two years ago with Broward County about runway expansion at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The article says that the city dropped its legal fight in October 1995 in exchange for up to $1.6 million for city utility lines and possible buyouts of homes. Tonight, City Commissioners will discuss whether residents received enough protection under the settlement.

Legal Costs May Prevent New Zealand Residents Group from Going to Court Over Airport Noise Control. The Evening Post reports that the Residents Airport Noise Action Group (RANAG), a group of residents in the eastern suburbs of Wellington, New Zealand, may have to abandon a fight over airport noise control because they cannot afford to go to the Environment Court for an appeal. The court hearing is estimated to cost the group $20,000, and is expected to last most of August.

Montgomery Mayor Places Curfew on Race Track Due to Resident Noise Complaints; Race Track Owner Mounts Sound Measuring Effort to Show the Noise Isn't That Bad. The Montgomery Advertiser reports that Montgomery (Alabama) Mayor Emory Folmar has placed a curfew of 10:30 p.m. on the Montgomery Motorsports Park dragstrip facility, in response to complaints about noise from the racetrack from residents. Racetrack owner Jimmy Easterling, meanwhile, has been testing sound levels from the facility with a decibel meter and plans to hire an audiologist to take professional sound readings in order to convince the mayor to rethink the curfew. The mayor, meanwhile, said he doesn't care about the results of the sound tests.

Neighbors of Ohio Amphitheater Have Little Legal Recourse to Quiet the Music. The Columbus Dispatch reports that neighbors of the Polaris Amphitheater, in Columbus, Ohio in southern Delaware County, have brought their noise complaints to Delaware County officials after saying they get no help from Columbus officials. Columbus has jurisdiction over the amphitheater. At a meeting between officials from Delaware County, Westerville, and Columbus yesterday to discuss noise problems from Polaris, Delaware County officials learned that a violation of Columbus's noise ordinance requires decibel levels to be over 65 decibels for an average of an hour and complaints cannot be registered over the telephone. In addition, only residents of Columbus can file a complaint, the article says. Neighbors who live in Westerville or unincorporated Delaware County have no legal recourse.

July 2, 1997

Chicago Agrees to Soundproof More Homes in the Suburbs, Settling Lawsuit. The Chicago Tribune reports that hundreds more homes around Chicago's O'Hare International Airport will be insulated against jet noise under the settlement terms of a lawsuit between the Village of Bensenville and the City of Chicago. Chicago has agreed to spend $11.4 million more by the year's end to soundproof 344 additional homes in Bensenville, Des Plaines, and unincorporated portions of DuPage and Cook Counties. The city originally had planned to spend $21 million to insulate 624 homes in Northlake, Schiller Park, and parts of unincorporated Cook County.

Long Island Village Bans Leaf Blowers for the Summer; Two Other Towns Limit Leaf Blower Hours. Newsday reports that the village of Great Neck Estates, New York has banned the use of gasoline- or diesel-powered leaf blowers within 300 feet of residential property between June 15 and Sept. 15. After the ban expires in September, the village will decide whether to keep it, change it, or drop it. Meanwhile, two other Long Island towns, North Hempstead and Oyster Bay, have restricted the use of leaf blowers to certain hours.

Los Angeles Ban on Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers Begins, But Police Still Figuring Out How to Enforce It. The Commercial Appeal reports that rakes and brooms showed up in lawns and gardens in Los Angeles yesterday as the city's ban on gas-powered leaf blowers took effect. Some gardeners continued to use leaf blowers in defiance of the law. Meanwhile, more than 500 gardeners staged a protest at City Hall, demanding a one-year moratorium on the new law so its impact can be studied further. As gardeners struggle with the new ordinance, police are still in the process of drawing up guidelines to enforce it.

Los Angeles Gardeners Protest City Ordinance Banning Leaf-Blowers. The Metropolitan News-Enterprise reports that hundreds of gardeners staged a protest at Los Angeles' City Hall yesterday to oppose an ordinance that bans the use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers within 500 feet of residences starting today.

Ohio City Passes Ordinance to Target Loud Car Stereos. The Dayton Daily News reports that the Huber Heights (Ohio) City Council passed an amendment to the city's noise ordinance last week that restricts noise from car stereos, effective immediately.

Residents Living Near Ohio Amphitheater Complain About Noise, While County Official Launches Effort to Help. The Columbus Dispatch reports that residents living near the Polaris Amphitheater in Westerville, Ohio have been complaining about noise from concerts for several years, with little tangible result. Now, Delaware County Commissioner Donald Wuertz has launched an effort to get the city of Columbus to enforce its noise ordinance, and visited residents near the amphitheater last night during an Ozzy Osbourne concert. The article goes on to focus on the impact of the concert noise on the life of one family who lives near the amphitheater.

Residents in Indiana Withdraw Lawsuit Against Airport After Purchase Assurance Program is Proposed. The Indianapolis News reports that residents of Cottonwood Court in Plainfield, Indiana have dropped their lawsuit against Indianapolis International Airport operator BAA after receiving promises that the airport will a new program to mitigate the noise impact. The program will allow homeowners in certain areas to sell their homes to the airport or receive a free package of new windows, doors, and insulation to cut down on airplane noise.

July 3, 1997

Editorial Argues a Compromise on Los Angeles's Leaf Blower Ban is Needed. The Los Angeles Times prints an editorial that finds fault in an approved ordinance that will fine gardeners gardeners up to $1,000 -- or give repeat offenders a six-month jail term -- for using leaf blowers within 500 feet of homes. The ordinance is scheduled to take effect on July 1st, but the paper says that police will be overburdened and will have difficulty enforcing the rule. Instead, the editorial suggests a modification to allow a gradual phase-out of leaf blowers or more lenient restrictions that simply govern their hours of use.

Flight Cap at London's Heathrow Airport is Only Sure Noise Solution. The Financial Times printed the following letter-to-the-editor from Dermot Cox, chair of the Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise, regarding the proposed noise cap at London's Heathrow Airport:

Proposed County Noise Ordinance in Virginia Will be Reworked after Residents Complained it Unfairly Targeted Gun Owners. The Richmond Times Dispatch reports that the New Kent County (Virginia) Board of Supervisors agreed to rework a proposed noise ordinance after members of the public convinced them that the ordinance unfairly targeted gun owners.

Proposed Wind Farm Project in New Zealand Meets Opposition on Grounds of Noise. The Evening Post reports that the Energy Corporation (ECNZ) wants to build a wind farm in Makara, New Zealand, and has met with opposition from residents in the area. At a Wind Energy Association and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority conference in Wellington this week, ECNZ Makara project manager Graeme Mills presented a paper on the proposed wind farm, and said the company is working to understand the potential nosie effects. He also urged Makara residents to understand and have faith in the input processes of the project.

Village in New York Considers Noise Ordinance Directed at Loud Nighttime Music. The Buffalo News reports that the Village Board in Blasdell, New York will hold a public hearing July 16 on adding a noise ordinance to the village code, in response to complaints from residents about loud music after 2 or 3 a.m. According to the article, the proposed ordinance would limit noise levels to 65 decibels between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m., and 60 decibels from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m., said Village Clerk Barbara Cesar. Noise levels would be measured with a decibel sound meter installed in a police car.

Wisconsin Village Approves Noise Ordinance to Address Noisy Vehicles. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the Village Board in Bayside, Wisconsin has approved an ordinance that allows police officers to issue disorderly conduct citations to motorists for any loud noise coming from a vehicle, including loud car stereos and peeling rubber when accelerating. According to the article, the ordinance was requested by Police Chief Bruce Resnick because officers currently have no enforcement power over such behavior. The article adds that the ordinance does not cover noise from motorcycles.

July 4, 1997

Lawsuit Between Chicago Suburb and City Over Soundproofing Against Airport Noise is Settled. The Chicago Tribune reports that a lawsuit brought in May by the village of Bensenville (Illinois) against the city of Chicago, alleging that the city had ignored Bensenville and other member towns in the Suburban O'Hare Commission in picking homes for soundproofing this year, has been settled. Under the terms of the settlement, an additional $11.4 million will be spent this year on soundproofing near the O'Hare International Airport for 344 more homes in Bensenville, Des Plaines, and unincorporated parts of DuPage and Cook Counties. Meanwhile, the chair of the recently formed O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission hoped the settlement would be the beginning of a more cooperative effort to solve airport noise problems, but members of the Suburban O'Hare Commission continued to insist that the Noise Compatibility Commission, formed by Chicago's mayor, was simply a mouthpiece for the city.

Seattle's Airport Gets FAA Approval for Third Runway. The Seattle Times reports that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) yesterday gave its final approval to a new, third runway at Seattle-Tacoma (Washington) International Airport, which is an important step in the airport's planned major expansion. Meanwhile, officials in the cities in South King County that have opposed the third runway said the decision was no surprise and just means the cities will add the FAA to the list of agencies they plan to sue.

July 5, 1997

Debate Over Water Scooters on Maine Waters Grows. The Patriot Ledger reports that the debate in Maine over what to do about water scooters is growing. Critics say the personal watercraft, known by brand names such as Jet Skis or Sea Doos, are noisy and a nuisance, while proponents say the scooters are a great way to draw families to Maine and make money. The state legislature had a chance to pass regulations governing the watercraft this year, but essentially did nothing, the article says.

Hard to Imagine Los Angeles Without Constant Whine of Leaf Blowers, Writer Believes. The Vancouver Sun reports in an editorial that after months of intense political battle, the ban on gasoline-powered leaf blowers in Los Angeles, California finally took effect, and the city may never be the same. The editorial writer believes it is difficult to imagine the city without the constant noise of leaf blowers. He goes on to outline the ban and the controversy surrounding it.

Jet Skis Banned or More Heavily Policed on Two Idaho Mountain Lakes. The Idaho Falls Post Register reports that officials in Custer County, Idaho have banned personal watercraft on Stanley Lake, and have decided to more heavily police them on Redfish Lake due to noise complaints from campers, anglers, and others.

July 6, 1997

Orange County, California Residents Continue to Debate Commercial Airport at Military Base. The Los Angeles Times printed the following letters-to-the-editor from residents of Laguna Hills and Newport Beach, California, regarding the proposed conversion of the nearby El Toro Marine Corps Air Station to a commercial airport:

July 7, 1997

Amsterdam Airport Considers Nighttime Ban on Takeoffs by Noisy Jets. AFX News reports that the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the Netherlands is considering a ban on takeoffs by the noisiest, wide-body aircraft between the hours of 11:00 pm and 6:00 am starting Aug. 1.

European Commission Backs Recommendations to Improve Aircraft Noise Standards. Aircraft Value News reports in an editorial that the European Commission is supporting two proposals that would ban or restrict aircraft equipped with Chapter 3 hushkits in an attempt to move along strong aircraft noise standards. The editorial argues that the first proposal, which would allow European authorities to ban aircraft equipped with Chapter 3 hushkits, would significantly hurt values for older, noisier Chapter 2 aircraft. The second proposal would bar operators in European Civil Aviation Conference member countries (ECAC) from adding hushkitted aircraft to their fleets after 1999, and this also would depress values for older aircraft, the editorial says.

July 8, 1997

European Countries Agree to Prohibit Hushkitted Chapter 3 Aircraft After April 1999. Aviation Daily reports that the European Civil Aviation Conference's 36 member countries (ECAC) agreed last week in Strasbourg to "take all necessary steps" after April 1, 1999 to exclude aircraft from their carriers' fleets that have been hushkitted only to meet the minimum requirements of Chapter 3 noise standards. The decision sends a signal to current and future airlines not to increase their fleet's noise by using hushkitten airplanes, according to ECAC president-elect Andre Auer. The action comes as a result of a January 1996 environmental policy statement issued by ECAC calling for substantially lower noise levels at Europe's airports after Chapter 2 aircraft are phased out in 2002, the article reports.

July 10, 1997

New York Town to Draft Noise Ordinance in Response to Resident Complaints. The Buffalo News reports that the Town Board in Clarence, New York has directed its planning office to come up with a draft noise ordinance to address complaints about an unacceptable level of neighbhorhood noise.

Fundraiser for Anti-Airport Fight Against California's El Toro Air Station Draws 800. The Orange County Register reports that more than 800 south Orange County (California) residents attended the first major fund-raiser Wednesday in the fight to oppose a commercial airport at the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station near Irvine. The fund-raiser, held in the Ritz Carlton-Laguna Niguel ballroom, charged $100 a head and raised more than $104,000 for the cost of a lawsuit to fight the county's environmental impact report on the air base.

July 11, 1997

FAA Proposes to Divert L.A. Flight Paths Over California Indian Reservation and Other Communities. The Press-Enterprise reports that to accomodate increasing air traffic at Los Angeles International Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration has proposed routing as many as 170 jets per day over the San Gorgonio Pass, which would put the aircraft over the Morongo Indian Reservation, Banning, Beaumont, Moreno Valley, Riverside, and Norco. At a public hearing Thursday at the Morongo Tribal Hall, about 40 residents of Banning and the Morongo Indian Reservation denounced the plans.

Florida Restauraunt Files Lawsuit Challenging City's Noise Ordinance That Targets Music. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that owners of the Lemon Coast Grill in downtown Sarasota, Florida filed a lawsuit against the city Thursday, challenging the noise ordinance that limits outdoor music. The lawsuit argues that the ordinance is unconstitutional, and asks for an injunction that would prevent the city from enforcing the ordinance until the case is resolved.

July 12, 1997

Minneapolis Passes New Noise Ordinance. The Star Tribune reports that the Minneapolis (Minnesota) City Council has adopted a new noise ordinance that targets noise from almost any source, with some exemptions such as for aircraft in flight.

Planning Commission in California Town Decides Noise Ordinance Isn't Needed. The Press-Enterprise reports that the Planning Commission in Norco, California has recommended that the city not pursue an anti-noise ordinance after two attempts to draw up an ordinance by the city staff met with problems. City Councillor Chris Sorensen had asked the city staff to draw up a draft ordinance for consideration by the council at the request of a resident who was being harassed by a neighbor playing loud music. The City Council has the final say on the ordinance, and will discuss it at its Aug. 6 meeting.

July 13, 1997

All Parties Should Work Together in Controversy Over PA System at L.A. Little League Field. The Los Angeles Times printed the following letter-to-the-editor from Laura Chick, a Los Angeles City Councillor, regarding the controversy over noise from the PA system at Los Angeles's Franklin Fields baseball field:

Chicago Suburbs Say Jet Traffic as Noisy as Ever After Mayor's "Fly Quiet" Plan Introduced. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the new "Fly Quiet" program at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport isn't working, according to officials from some suburbs. The voluntary program was launched June 17 in an attempt to get pilots and air traffic controllers to undertake routes and procedures that will help mitigate jet noise. The program included diverting nighttime flights to unpopulated areas and quieting engine tests on the runways.

Indianapolis Airport's Newest Noise Relief Proposal Offers Residents Soundproofing or Buyouts. The Indianapolis Star reports that in response to residents' complaints about jet noise from the Indianapolis International Airport, the Indianapolis Airport Authority has proposed a plan to soundproof homes in certain areas or offer to buy the homes from residents and re-sell them. The airport's proposal is an attempt to preserve neighborhoods to a greater degree than has been done in the past, airport officials said.

Noise and Safety Issues of Powerboats Debated in Maryland. The Capital reports that the South River, near Annapolis, Maryland, has become a battleground over restrictions on powerboats. Residents living in the area want a quieter life, and powerboaters want open waters for their fast boats. Last month, two events focused attention on the issues: a state hearing on boat noise regulations, and the death of a man thrown from a speeding high-performance boat. State officials are considering speed limits on the South River and two other rivers, the article says.

Residents Fear That New Terminal at Washington's National Aiport Will Mean More Flights and Noise. The Washington Post reports that a new terminal at the National Airport in Washington, D.C. will open in two weeks, and many Washington, Maryland, and Virginia residents who live near the airport's flight path are worried that the new terminal will lead to an increase in flights that and will make the intolerable noise problem even worse. However, airport officials insist that the federal regulations in place that limit the number of flights from National will prohibit any increase. Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and other U.S. Congress members are considering legislation that could lead to more flights to and from National.

Residents Give Their Opinions on Los Angeles Leaf Blower Ban. The Los Angeles Times printed the following letters-to-the-editor from Los Angeles area residents regarding the new ban on gasoline-powered leaf blowers:

Seattle Reporters Go in Search of Quiet Places. The Seattle Times reports that there are few places to escape the noise that fills our lives. Reporters went in search of quiet places around Seattle, and found several: the Meditation Room at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the sensory deprivation tank at The Comfort Zone in the Pike Place Market, the Metro tunnel on Sunday morning, and underwater at Wynoochee Lake.

Small-Plane Pilots and Residents Join Forces to Oppose Florida Airport Expansion. The Sun-Sentinel reports that two unlikely groups have joined forces to oppose the expansion of the Boca Raton (Florida) Airport: homeowners and pilots of small planes. The newly formed Boca Raton Aviation Club, a group of small-plane pilots, wants to lease some of vacant land at the airport to create a pilots' cooperative that would offer lower gas and storage prices. Both the pilots and the homeowners want to curb expansion that they fear will increase jet traffic at the busy airport.

July 14, 1997

Airline Calls Amsterdam Airport's Noise Reduction Plan Discriminatory. ANP English News Bulletin reports that officials at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands recently announced that in order to meet legal noise limits, they intend to ban nighttime flights of noisier planes starting August 1. Officials from the airline Martinair, which will see its three older Boeing planes banned from nighttime takeoffs as a result of the rule, have complained that the restriction is discriminatory and asked the airport to focus its ban on airlines that have recently increased night flights, thereby contributing to higher overall noise levels. Martinair officials maintain that tens of thousands of vacationers could be stranded in August as a result of the ban.

Wisconsin Town Rescinds Ban on Sporting Clay Shooting Due to a Legal Technicality. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that officials in Eagle, Wisconsin have lifted a ban on sporting clay shooting at the McMiller Sports Center after they discovered they made a mistake earlier this week in establishing the prohibition. According to town chair Don Wilton, officials made the mistake Monday when they rejected a Department of Natural Resources request for a year extension on a conditional use permit to operate the range. Town officials later realized they could not legally initiate a ban before the current permit, which was agreed to last year by officials, expires July 27. Wilton said officials would ban the shooting clay range again, if necessary, once the current permit expires.

July 15, 1997

Amsterdam Airport Announces Nighttime Restrictions to Reduce Noise. The publication Airports reports that officials at the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands announced new restrictions on nighttime flights Friday. The new rules, which still must be approved by the government, call for a ban on flights of DC-10s and Boeing 747-100s, -200s, -300s, and SPs between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. starting August 1. Flights which are scheduled before 11 p.m., but are delayed, will also be prohibited, the article says. Airport officials said the ban is necessary to comply with the Netherlands' legally defined noise limits, but cargo airlines operating at the airport are furious about the proposed restrictions.

Los Angeles City Council Suggests Above-Ground Commuter Train as Alternative to Subway; Residents Worry About Noise Impact. The Los Angeles Times reports that the Los Angeles City Council Transportation Committee has been considering a subway line for the San Fernando Valley, but is now considering alternatives because some fear that they would never get enough funding for an underground system. Although above ground trains or trolleys would be cheaper, residents have promised to oppose them on the basis of noise, traffic, and pollution.

Neighborhood in New Jersey City Gets Noise Barriers; Some Residents Angry that the Barriers Don't Extend to Their Homes. The Record reports that noise barriers are being built along Route 80 in West Paterson, New Jersey, in a project expected to be completed in June 1998. But at least one resident who lives just outside of the area where the noise barriers will stop, wants the state to extend noise barriers to her area.

Residents in Florida Neighborhood Want Relief from Traffic Noise; Officials Say Noise Barrier is Unlikely. The St. Petersburg Times reports that residents in Oldsmar, Florida who live along the new State Road 580 want a noise barrier built to shield them from traffic noise. The new highway runs as close as 20 feet to some people's homes at the end of what were previously dead-end, wooded streets. Meanwhile, officials say a noise barrier would be too expensive for the neighborhood, but they are considering other options such as landscaping.

July 16, 1997

Citizens File Lawsuit Over San Jose Airport Expansion. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the group Citizens Against Airport Pollution filed a lawsuit Monday in Santa Clara Superior Court against the San Jose (California) International Airport, the City of San Jose, and the San Jose City Council over an expansion plan for the airport. The group argues that the project would cause traffic gridlock and increased air and noise pollution, and that city officials did not adequately consider the potential environmental impacts. Members of the citizens group said they are not against a bigger airport, but they would like to see a scaled-back expansion plan.

Citizens Have a History of Fighting Washington's National Airport Over Noise. The Washington Post reports that noise problems from Washington, D.C.'s National Airport have been plaguing neighbors since at least 1966, when jets were introduced at the airport. The article outlines what measures airport officials have taken to mitigate airport noise, and how citizens have responded.

July 17, 1997

Illinois Airport Gets New Holding Apron Designed to Reduce Noise for Nearby Residents. The Chicago Tribune reports that the construction has begun on a new holding apron at the Palwaukee Municipal Airport outside Chicago (Illinois), in order to reduce noise for residents from planes waiting to take off from the airport's main runway.

Los Angeles Delays Gas-Powered Leaf Blower Ban Till January. The Los Angeles Times reports that Los Angeles' City Council is putting off enforcement on an ordinance that would ban gas-fueled leaf blowers. Police will attempt to decide how to enforce the ordinance during the six months, which will also help to make gardeners who oppose the ordinance adapt.

New York Village Board Postpones Action on Noise Ordinance Due to Split Vote. The Buffalo News reports that the Blasdell (New York) Village Board decided Wednesday to postpone action on a proposed noise ordinance because the board was split on the issue 2-2 in the absence of Mayor Ernest Jewett.

Noise Abatement Flight Paths Ignored at Boston's Airport. The Patriot Ledger reports that last fall, a new flight path was approved for Boston's Logan International Airport, designed to give residents in Milton and Quincy relief from airplane noise. However, local officials said this week that pilots consistently ignore the flight path during off-peak travel times, taking planes over Milton. The comments came at a meeting Tuesday between state and local officials from several South Shore towns, officials from Massport, and officials from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The meeting was called to discuss Massport's expansion plan for the airport, which includes the addition of a 5,000-foot runway, but local officials expressed frustration about continuing airplane noise and the lack of communication with Massport and the FAA.

Officials Looking for Money and Solutions to Noise Problem for Residents near Buffalo Airport. The Buffalo News reports that officials with the Town of Cheektowaga, New York and Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) have agreed to investigate ways to provide some noise relief for residents living near the Greater Buffalo International Airport.

Washington's National Airport Gets New Terminal; Airport Traffic Levels Expected to Stay the Same. The New York Times reports that Washington, D.C.'s National Airport for years has consisted of a hodgepodge of buildings, but on July 27, its new $409 million terminal will open. The terminal project includes additional traffic lanes, covered walkways to nearby parking garages, and a Metro subway station within a few hundred feet of the airline gates. While new terminals in other major cities recently have been built to accomodate more flights and passengers, National's new terminal was not intended for that purpose. National is one of four airports in the country that have federal restrictions on the number of takeoffs and landings, the article reports.

July 18, 1997

36 Countries in Europe Agree to Limit Flights From Noisy Aircraft. The publication Transport Europe reports that members of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), a group with 36 member countries, met in Strasbourg on July 2 and 3 and agreed to reduce the level of noise emissions from aircraft by the year 2002, and resolved to adopt a formal Recommendation on the matter by December 31. Meanwhile, express delivery airlines voiced concern about regulations limited to Europe and called for an international agreement.

Cincinnati Airport Gets New Aircraft Tracking System to Deal With Noise Complaints. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Cincinnati - Northern Kentucky International Airport recently has installed a new $609,000 computer aircraft tracking system to deal with noise complaints. The system, called the Aircraft Operation Monitoring System (AOMS), has the ability to record the flight paths and flight numbers of every departure and landing, along with accompanying information

Residents Pressure Arizona City for Sound Wall and Get Positive Results. The Arizona Republic reports that the city of Scottsdale, Arizona has agreed to begin work in September on a 10-foot wall to protect residents from traffic and construction noise from Goldwater Boulevard and the construction of the Scottsdale Waterfront Project, which includes a future shopping center. The residents have lobbied the city for a new wall for almost two years, and the city appropriated money for the project last year, but the project hadn't gone forward.

Tampa Moves Forward With Ordinance to Control Noise in the Entertainment District. The Tampa Tribune reports that the Tampa (Florida) City Council decided Thursday to consider in three weeks a new noise ordinance aimed at noisy bars in the Ybor City entertainment district. The article says that if bar owners voluntarily improve the situation, the council might decide to put the noise ordinance on the back burner. However, the article reports, if the ordinance is passed when the council considers it in three weeks, it would then be called up for a second and final vote in 90 days.

July 19, 1997

Denver Officials Hope Airport Noise Study Will Help Lift Federal Funding Ban on New Runway. The Denver Post reports that Denver officials have said they hope a new study of aircraft noise at Denver International Airport will help to eliminate a federal ban on funding imposed in 1994 because of aircraft noise. Eliminating the ban is the first step in paving the way for a controversial sixth runway at the airport, the article says.

July 20, 1997

Columnist's Noise Test Finds that Leaf Blowers are as Loud as Dynamite. The Chapel Hill Herald printed a humorous editorial in which the columnist laments the loss of silence in America and bemoans the constitutional right of people to use leaf blowers, which he finds are louder than dynamite.

Minneapolis Noise Ordinance Misrepresented in Paper. The Star Tribune reports that a Minneapolis city official and some Minneapolis residents were upset by the wording of a Star Tribune article on July 12 which described the new noise ordinance passed by the Minneapolis City Council. Residents and the city official claim the article was hyperpole and editorializing, and misled readers into believing the ordinance is unreasonable. The article goes on to quote the offending paragraph of the article, and to print more information about the city's ordinance.

New Device Invented by British Company Could Help Stifle Aircraft Noise. The Sunday Times reports that a new device invented by a British firm may help reduce aircraft noise experienced by people on the ground. The announcement comes in the midst of a fight to add another terminal to the Heathrow Airport in London, and opponents of the expansion believe the announcement is a red herring being used to divert attention from the issue.

Noise Mitigation Measures are Long Overdue at Illinois Airport. The Pantagraph printed the following letter-to-the-editor from Lois and Eugene Perrine, residents of Bloomington, Illinois, regarding proposed noise mitigation measures at the Bloomington-Normal Airport:

Noisy Stereos in Britain Seized by Local Authorities as a Result of Campaign. The publication Mail on Sunday reports that more than a third of the local councils in Britain have seized noisy stereos from residents after a Mail on Sunday campaign. The article says that most local authorities have services to deal with nighttime noise, and nearly one-half plan to use the new confiscation powers they have been given by the government, according to a survey released today. However, the article goes on to say, less than a tenth of local authorities are likely to impose $100 on-the-spot fines, because they lack resources or believe existing measures are adequate.

Proponents of an Airport in North Carolina Only Consider Their Own Convenience. The Chapel Hill Herald printed the following letter-to-the-editor from Peter Aitken, a Chapel Hill resident, regarding noise from the Horace Williams Airport:

July 21, 1997

Cleveland Airport Soundproofs Homes for Homeowners Who Agree Not to Sue. The Plain Dealer reports that the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in has soundproofed about 150 homes in Cleveland, Brook Park, Olmsted Falls, and Olmsted Township (Ohio), and is planning to make another 1,200 homes available for the soundproofing program. However, the article reports, some residents are not happy about the terms under which their homes can be soundproofed. The program requires that homeowners give up their right to sue the airport over aircraft noise.

European Commission Pushes for Legal Action Against Italy and Belgium for Failing to Adopt Noise Limits on Construction Machinery. The Occupational Health & Safety Letter reports that the European Commission (EC) has applied to the European Court of Justice, seeking legal retribution against Italy and Belgium for failing to adopt limits on construction workers' exposure to noise from construction machinery.

Noise From Model Airplanes in Rural Maryland Doesn't Violate State Regulations. The Baltimore Sun reports that the Maryland Department of the Environment checked the noise level of model planes flown by the Westminster Aero Modelers on a farm north of Westminster, Maryland in response to a complaint from a neighbor, and found that while the noise is "distinctively noticeable," it does not violate state regulations.

Tips on How to Find Peace and Quiet. The Los Angeles Times reports the psychologists believe people need to have quiet in their lives occasionally. The Environmental Protection Agency lost it's noise pollution division in 1982, but the article offers some ways to find the quiet you need. Try turning off the car stereo. "If you're just beginning, take five minutes a day and go outside and find a nice, beautiful place and just think about things." Avoid TV once a week, and think or read instead. Remember, Blaise Pascal said "All human evil comes from . . . a person's inability to sit still in a room."

Why We Fill Our Lives with Constant Noise -- Some Spiritual and Psychological Explanations. The Los Angeles Times reports that people tend to avoid silence. Several theories for why this is so include: humans are addicted to audible sensory input, we need noise to replace a lack of spiritual satisfaction, and sound can designate personal space

July 22, 1997

England Town Launches Noise Exposure Survey to Encourage Quiet Neighborhoods. The Northern Echo of England escalating complaints of domestic noise from barking dogs, loud music and other sources have prompted the town of Sedgefield, England, to take action.

Florida City Set to Adopt Noise Ordinance. The Orlando Sentinel reports that the Sanford (Florida) City Commission is expected to pass a proposed noise ordinance next week.

Maine Resident Finds Noise Pollution Everywhere. The Bangor Daily News printed the following letter-to-the-editor from Patricia Thurston, a Bass Harbor (Maine) resident, regarding the incessant noises she experiences:

New Group Formed to Study Noise from Denver Airport. The Denver Post reports that the Denver International Airport Study Coordinating Group has been formed to undertake a $200,000 independent study of noise from the Denver International Airport. The non-profit group will consist of representatives from up to nine counties and two citizen groups, the article says, with congressional monitoring by Sen. Wayne Allard and Rep. Joel Hefley (both Republicans). Denver's Mayor, Wellington Webb, joined the group Monday to launch the study, which is expected to be completed by the year's end.

Proposed Flight Path in Florida Still Opposed by Residents, Though Approved by Airport Authority. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that a group of residents is still opposed to a new flight path for aircraft leaving the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport that will route planes over Longboat Key, near Sarasota, Florida. The Sarasota-Manatee Airport Authority several months ago voted 6-2 to approve the new flight pattern, after extensive public hearings that pitted mid-Longboat Key residents against Manatee County residents who hoped to get some relief from aircraft noise. But now William Myers, an unsuccessful 1996 candidate for the authority, has brought the issue back, taxing the patience of the authority members, the article says.

Study in Scotland Finds Only a Small Percentage of Localities Likely to Adopt New Strict Noise Standards. The Herald reports that a survey by the National Society for Clean Air in Scotland has found that only about 8% of local authorities are likely to adopt new curbs on noise between 11 pm and 7 am which come into force this week, enabling environmental health officers to seize noisy stereos, radios, and TVs. The survey was released yesterday to coincide with National Noise Awareness Day tomorrow, the article says.

July 23, 1997

Approval Sought for Long Flights from Dallas Airfield; City Council May Make the Final Decision. The Dallas Morning News reports that Legend Airlines has proposed to offer long-haul passenger service from Love Field in Dallas, Texas, which would compete with airlines at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Legend Airlines officials recently convinced members of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee to approve legislation that would let them use Love Field in a way barred by the U.S. Transportation Department's interpretation of the Wright amendment. However, the committee also has adopted language that would give the Dallas City Council the final decision on the issue, in a concession to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), who opposes Legend's plan. Meanwhile, residents living near Love Field already have been fighting noise and traffic from the airfield.

Citizens Protest Noisy Outdoor Opera by Mowing their Lawns During Performance. The Ottawa Citizen reports that citizens in London, Ontario protested outdoor performances of the Garsington Opera by synchronizing their lawnmoving, hedge trimming, and other yard work during the opening night of the opera festival, June 9. In response to the long feud between the villagers and opera officials, the South Oxfordshire District Council has decided to prosecute the opera company.

Health Expert Reports that Occupants of Boom Cars are Placing their Hearing at Risk. The Tampa Tribune reports that according to Kenneth Gerhardt, a University of Florida professor of audiology who specializes in the effects of noise on hearing, occupants of "boom cars," are placing their hearing at risk from the loud music.

Maryland's Waterways Should Have Speed and Noise Limits. The Capital printed an editorial which argues that speed limits on Maryland's Severn, South, and Magothy Rivers should be passed, and noise limits on the rivers also should be strictly enforced.

Mayor of Ohio Town Wants a New Noise Ordinance; Some Residents Oppose the Idea. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that a new noise ordinance is being considered by the city council in Deer Park, Ohio to deal mostly with loud car stereos. The proposed ordinance has the support of the city's mayor, but is being opposed by at least two outspoken residents.

New Noise Act in U.K. Gives Authorities More Power to Quiet Nighttime Noise Offenders. M2 Presswire reports that the provisions of the United Kingdom's Noise Act 1996 come into effect today, National Noise Awareness Day, for those local authorities which adopt the provisions of the Act. The Act sets a permitted noise level for nighttime noise on domestic premises.

Noise Awareness Day Highlights Pervasive Noise Problems in Scotland. The Herald reports that today is Scotland's National Noise Awareness Day, with the aim of increasing understanding of noise issues and considering the effects our lifestyles, transport, and businesses have on noise pollution. The article outlines some of the ways noise pollution is on the increase, and what Scotland is doing about it.

Noise Awareness Day in Scotland Gets Support from Government. The Scotsman reports that today is Scotland's Noise Awareness Day, and the government is calling for people to be more considerate of their neighbors to help control noise, the least recognized form of environmental pollution.

Resident is Against Personal Watercraft on Maine Lakes. The Bangor Daily News printed the following letter-to-the-editor from Robert Siegler, a Lincoln resident, regarding noise from personal watercraft on Maine waters:

July 24, 1997

California Town Drops the Idea of Regulating Leaf Blowers. The Los Angeles Times reports that Oxnard, California City Council -- which was considering restrictions on leaf blowers because of noise and pollution issues raised by residents -- has decided instead to encourage a dialogue among landscapers and residents to develop a compromise solution.

Canadian City's Proposed Plan Faces Appeal from Airports Authority Because of Planned Land Uses. The Toronto Star reports that the proposed new Official Plan in Mississauga, Ontario is being appealed by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority because it will allow development in high-noise areas near Pearson International Airport. The authority is afraid that such development will result in residents opposing future operations and expansion of the airport. The authority's appeal also is supported by the Air Transport Association of Canada, an umbrella group representing airlines and helicopter operators. The appeal will be heard by the Ontario Municipal Board, the article reports.

City in Washington May Lack Power to Control Noise from Rail Yard. The Seattle Times reports that the Everett (Washington) City Council yesterday introduced an ordinance that would limit operations in the switching-yard of The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad near Everett Marina due to resident complaints about noise. The ordinance would forbid excessive noise between 10 pm and 7 am. However, federal laws protect railroads from local regulations due to constitutional restrictions on interfering with interstate commerce, leading to speculation that the city may not have the power to enforce its ordinance.

Experts Say Noisy Classrooms May Hinder Learning. The Toronto Star reports that at a recent conference of the Acoustical Society of America, experts told conference attendees that classroom noise levels are often so loud they impair childrens' speech perception, reading and spelling ability, behavior, attention, and academic performance.

Noise Laws in Albany Should be Enforced, Columnist Thinks. The Times printed an editorial in which the writer reports at the last caucus of the Albany Common Council, the council president circulated a letter from residents of Central Avenue asking the council to pass an ordinance directed at cars with loud boom boxes. The writer points out that the city's ordinances are already very tough on noise, but the codes are not very well-publicized or used.

Ohio City and County Set to Discuss Noise Problems at Outdoor Amphitheatre. The Dayton Daily News reports that Columbus (Ohio) City Council President Michael Coleman will meet with Delaware County commissioners to discuss complaints about noise and violence at the Polaris Amphitheatre. The amphitheatre, about five miles north of Columbus, is under the jurisdiction of the city, and county commissioners recently have said Columbus officials have been lax about controlling concert-related noise. Residents living near the amphitheatre have complained about its noise since it opened in 1994. Meanwhile, the city attorney's office is drafting a new noise ordinance, the article reports.

Personal Watercraft Industry Should Take Drastic Action, or Machines Could Face Restrictions on Maine Lakes. The Bangor Daily News printed an editorial that discusses the ways in which the personal watercraft industry has started to respond to the irresponsible behavior of many Jet Skiers. The editorial goes on to argue that in the face of strong opposition against personal watercraft on Maine lakes, the industry needs to take more dramatic actions if it doesn't want to see their product banned or restricted on many lakes.

Residents Near Noisy Gas Pipeline in Washington Will Get Some Relief, Gas Company Says. The Seattle Times reports that officials for Northwest Pipeline have announced they will install two large containers around an underground gas pipeline in order to muffle the constant thumping noise that has been disturbing residents in Duvall, Washington. The fix is expected to be installed by late August, the article says.

U.S. Postal Service Launches Program to Test Cordless Electric Lawn Mowers. Business Wire reports through a press release that the U.S. Postal Service is launching a pilot program in North and South Carolina to test the use of battery-operated lawn mowers. The press release goes on to outline the project and to give data on the environmental impacts of switching to electric lawn mowers.

July 25, 1997

Maine Residents Complain About Personal Watercraft on Local Lakes. The Bangor Daily News printed the following letter-to-the-editors from residents in Surry and Cherryfield, Maine regarding noise from personal watercraft on local lakes:

July 26, 1997

What's the Quietest Lawn Mower?. The Times printed an editorial that outlines which lawn mowers that can be purchased in Britain are the noisiest and the quietest. It also discusses the noise restrictions on lawn mower use in Germany, and talks about the fact that the European Community is considering new noise regulations for mowers. The writer concludes by giving a ranking of the types of mowers from noisiest to quietest.

July 27, 1997

Pennsylvania Residents Fear Possible Sale of Airport to County. The Morning Call reports that residents in the Whitpain, Pennsylvania area are strongly opposing the possible purchase of Wings Field by the Montgomery County Airport Authority, which is studying the issue. If purchased, the airport's runway would be lengthened, and residents fear this will bring more air traffic to the area. Meanwhile, various members of the recently created airport authority have defended accusations that they have conflicts of interest, and two members have resigned.

Texas Town Considers Buying Small Airport; Neighbors Worried About Noise Oppose the Purchase. The Houston Chronicle reports that the city of Pearland, Texas is considering whether to buy a 400-acre airport, Clover Field, located about three miles south of Pearland and two miles west of Friendswood. The issue has pitted residents near Clover Field and citizens who want to maintain the area's small-town character against those who favor change and increased business activity in the area.

July 28, 1997

Boise Considers Ordinance to Control Barking Dogs. The Idaho Statesman reports that city attorneys in Boise, Idaho are drafting an extension of the city's new noise ordinance that would include measures to control barking dogs.

Grand Canyon Air Tour Operators Refuse to Pay Park Service Fees, Landing Them in Court. The Arizona Republic printed an editorial about the refusal of some air tour operators in Grand Canyon National Park to pay Park Service fees. Now, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona has filed the first of what may be several lawsuits against air tour operators to collect the fees. The editorial compares the situation to a tenant not paying rent, and says the air tour operators should be "evicted" if they don't pay.

July 29, 1997

British Residents Campaign for Quiet Roads. The Northern Echo of England reports that thousands of North-East families are faced with a summer noise nightmare due to road maintenance neglect. But financially strapped officials say they are battling just to keep the region's roads patched up, and they don't have any money over for "extras" like quiet materials, according to an AA report.

Charter Airlines Threaten Price Increase if Nighttime Flight Restrictions Imposed at Amsterdam Airport. The ANP English News Bulletin reports that charter airline companies have said fares may rise 30%-40% if nighttime noise restrictions are imposed at the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The airport has proposed to limit nighttime flights starting August 1 in order to avoid exceeding the country's noise pollution limits.

Florida County Commission to Vote on New Noise Ordinance. The Tampa Tribune reports that Florida's Pasco County Commission is expected to make a decision today on a new noise ordinance that would allow sheriff's deputies to ticket noise violators without using a sound meter.

Indiana Man Enraged at Noisy Teen-Agers Charged for Firing a Gun. The Indianapolis News reports that a man in Greenwood, Indiana has been arrested for firing a .45-caliber handgun into the ground after becoming enraged that teen-agers were using a hydraulic system to bounce a car through his neighborhood. The man told sheriff's deputies that he "just snapped."

New Invention in Britain Could Silence Outdoor Noise. The London Times reports that a British inventor, Selwyn Wright of Huddersfield University, said he has produced a device capable of blocking outdoor noise.

July 30, 1997

Connecticut City Considers Restricting Ice Cream Truck Music After Resident Complaints. The Hartford Courant reports that about 40 residents who attended a neighborhood meeting Tuesday in Hartford, Connecticut to talk about neighborhood problems agreed to propose that the city pass an ordinance that would prohibit ice cream truck vendors from selling their goods after 9 p.m. and would require vendors to reduce the noise level of their bells and songs. The meeting was sponsored by Hartford Areas Rally Together, the article says.

Dutch Government Will Decide Next Week Whether to Impose Nighttime Flight Restrictions at Amsterdam Airport, Delaying the Target Implementation Date. The Business Times reports that officials at the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands will announce early next week if they will proceed with plans announced earlier to ban certain night flights and restrict others in order to meet the country's noise regulations. The airport's new rules were set to take effect August 1, but the government, which must approve the rules, currently is studying the issue. Meanwhile, airlines whose operations would be limited by the rules have raised strong protests and some reportedly have threatened to sue the airport, saying the restrictions would violate aviation treaties such as the open-skies agreements.

Two U2 Concerts Banned in Ireland Due to Neighbors' Noise Concerns. The International Herald Tribune reports that two sold-out homecoming concerts by the Irish rock group U2, scheduled to be held in Dublin, Ireland at the Lansdowne Road rugby stadium, have been banned by the High Court because of residents' concern over noise, according to reports in Irish newspapers on Tuesday. Residents living near the stadium told the court that the Irish Rugby Football Union had no legal right to subject them to loud and persistent noise, the article reports.

Other Indexes

Aircraft Noise
Amplified Noise
Effects on Wildlife/Animals
Construction Noise
Firing Ranges
Health Effects
Home Equipment and Appliances
International News
Environmental Justice
Land Use and Noise
Civil Liberty Issues
Miscellaneous Noise Stories
Noise Ordinances
Noise Organizations Mentioned
Outdoor Events
Noise in Our National Parks/Natural Areas
Residential and Community Noise
Snowmobile and ATV Noise
Research and Studies
Technological Solutions to Noise
Transportation Related Noise
Violence and Noise
Watercraft Noise
Workplace Noise

Geographical Index

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